Naya Rivera’s dad has alleged that his late daughter and her fellow “Glee” star Lea Michele “hated each other” — despite Naya previously stating that wasn’t the case.
The three-part series, which dropped Monday, unpacks the demands of being on the hit TV series, which aired from 2009 to 2015 on Fox, and dark behind-the-scenes drama.
“There was always a fight between them. Always. Everybody knew. Everybody saw it, ” George said of the alleged dynamic between Naya and Michele.
“They hated each other but, at the same time, respected each other’s talent, ” he claimed.
Naya wrote about her relationship with Michele in her 2016 memoir, “Sorry Not Sorry. ”
“I don’t hate Lea, and I never have, ” she stated emphatically.
“We are both strong-willed and competitive — plus that’s not a good mixture, ” she explained. “When two people with strong personalities are friends, they’re eventually going to clash. And maybe they’ll get over it; maybe they won’t. Lea in addition to I didn’t. ”
Rivera also added that the current “Funny Girl” star “didn’t like sharing the spotlight” with others.
“She had a hard time separating work from our outside friendship, ” she wrote at the time. “Lea was a lot more sensitive, though, and this seemed like she blamed me for anything and everything that went wrong, ” she went on. “If I’d complained about anyone or anything, she assumed I was bitching about her. Soon she started to ignore me, and even eventually it got to the particular point where she didn’t say a word in order to me for all of Season 6. ”
Still, Rivera added that while she wished the duo had a better relationship, “rumors associated with a ‘feud’ were blown out of proportion. ” She was also far from the only cast member to have complaints about Michele’s on-set behavior over the years.
Elsewhere in “The Price of Glee, ” George recalled the last conversation he had with his daughter before her death was regarding being careful while out on the water.
“I get a sinking feeling ’cause we’ve been boating forever, ” this individual remembered. “I was FaceTiming with her trying for you to talk her through, sort of the pitfalls regarding trying to anchor your boat. First of all, I said, ‘Naya, you’re on a pontoon boat, that’s not a boat … Why are you on a pontoon boat? ’
“I said, ‘Do not jump off that effin’ boat. If you’ve got an anchor, you can anchor it, but … do you know how to help anchor it? ” he or she recalled telling her. “We went through a couple iterations like that and then the FaceTime call hung up and that was the last time I talked to her. ”
George — who has been in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the time — added that he knew “it was over with” when authorities called him to explain that Naya was not found with the vessel or his safe, sleeping grandchild.
“You don’t find a drifting, 5-year-old child asleep on a boat at the end involving a lake without their mother and have any hope, ” he said. “I had no hope. ”
Naya’s body was found five days later in an area of Lake Piru in California close to where she and Josey had taken a boat ride.